Gov. Kathy Hochul Delivers 2023 State of the State Address

On January 10, 2023, Gov. Kathy Hochul delivered her 2023 State of the State Address at the New York State Capitol.

Following an invocation in which Rev. W. Franklin Richardson of Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon prayed to “God our mother and our father,” Gov. Hochul unveiled her 2023 Achieving the New York Dream Agenda. Significantly, when discussing public safety issues, the Governor expressed a desire to work with the Legislature on improving New York’s controversial bail reform laws.

Gov. Hochul’s address focused heavily on mental health services, housing, and energy. The Governor proposed to expand inpatient mental health services, to create more than 3,500 units of supportive housing, and to spend more than $1 billion on mental health initiatives. In her New York Housing Compact, Gov. Hochul seeks to facilitate the construction of 800,000 new homes across the state during the next 10 years by setting goals for housing development in every municipality, by providing unspecified amounts of state funding, and by creating a new tax incentive for affordable housing development in New York City. Regarding energy policy, Gov. Hochul proposed to curtail the sale of heating equipment powered by fossil fuels by 2030 and called for “all new construction to be zero-emission, starting in 2025 for small buildings and 2028 for large buildings”; in addition, the Governor wishes to establish a “cap-and-invest” program (also referred to as “cap-and-trade” or “cap-and-tax”) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

While Gov. Hochul did mention the “bold steps” taken by her administration last year to promote abortion access, her State of the State Address did not focus heavily on the abortion issue. However, the 276-page book accompanying her speech outlines several pro-abortion policies that the Governor hopes to implement this year. First, Gov. Hochul proposes to increase Medicare reimbursement rates for abortionists. Second, the Governor wishes to expand abortion access at public colleges and universities. (Specifically, the Governor wants every public college and university to either provide pill abortions to students or refer students to “trusted” abortion clinics off campus.) Third, Gov. Hochul supports second passage[1] of the so-called Equality Amendment. The Equality Amendment would place a right to abortion into the New York State Constitution by banning discrimination based on “pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes.” The sponsor memorandum attached to the Equality Amendment asserts that the Amendment would prevent the state from using “its police power or power of the purse to burden, limit, or favor any type of reproductive decision making at the expense of other outcomes.” The State of the State book also applauded the fact that the Hochul administration funneled $35 million taxpayer dollars into the coffers of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers last year.

As Christian New Yorkers celebrate Sanctity of Life Sunday on January 22, 2023, Christians and churches throughout the state should pray against Gov. Kathy Hochul’s abortion schemes.

[1]           A constitutional amendment must be passed by the state legislature in two separate legislative sessions (i.e. in 2022 and again in 2023 or 2024). After that, it must be approved by the voters. The New York State Legislature passed the Equality Amendment for the first time last year.